The Mississippi River and Duck Creek are both down off of my bike paths! HOORAY! I've had a couple of great rides this weekend. Link for Friday is here and for Saturday is here, if you like this sort of thing (I share them because they are both rides I haven't mapped here yet. I love that the report splits my speed for each mile, and that it puts elevation and speed on the same graph down at the bottom, and that it tells number of calories burned. It really is a fun little app.
The Davenport path, near my house, has had a section closed for a bit, where the water company is doing some construction. There is a proposed detour sign. I've looked at it a lot of times, but never dared to try it, because it takes one up a massive Davenport hill, and it is on the streets. Yesterday, I felt adventurous. So I followed the detour, which took me up a one-way street (driving the wrong direction, but presumably if the sign says do it, it's okay, and the street is very quiet) called Oneida. Oh, that hill! It is deceptive for this reason: at the bottom, you look up and it looks so huge your knees knock (or mine did, anyway). And then when you get partway up, you realize that what you THOUGHT was the top...is just a curve. You're only half-ish way up! Ohhhhh golly. Thank you Jesus and hallelujah for the many gears on sweet, sweet Wilma, my wonderbike. I shifted and shifted and definitely finished all the way down in first gear. I huffed and puffed and sincerely thought I was going to hurl. It is soooo much bigger and harder than Main Street hill.
But I was feeling like a badass, so I just kept pedaling, despite the burn in my lungs and my leg muscles, despite the rawness of my throat as I sucked air, despite certainty that it just wasn't possible to pedal a butt this size all the way up that far.
The detour takes a right turn at 12th street. I hoped and prayed that 12th street would be flat, or better yet, downhill. Eventually it was. But first, it was a slight upgrade. Not enough to bother a person who's been riding on flat ground. But enough to make me actually wail in complaint ALOUD as I turned onto it. LOL
Still, in the end, I did the whole darn thing without stopping even once or hurling either. I felt like a rock star. I had the biggest, goofiest grin EVER on my face as I glided back downhill at the end of the detour. Just. So. AWESOME.
Before I learned to love exercise, a physical challenge was not a joy or fun to me. It was something to either avoid or overcome. It didn't make me excited, didn't make me want to be a badass, didn't make me grin like a little kid on the rare occasion that I completed it. To me, this is one of the ways that I know that this journey of letting God teach me to love my body has made real and permanent changes in me.
I just love it.